The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $56 billion fiscal year 2021 spending package for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that includes $2.25 billion for operations of its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) cyber wing.
The draft legislation, which is now in subcommittee, itemizes annual funding for DHS’ modules. The CISA appropriation amounts to a $240 million bump above fiscal 2020 spending levels and nearly $500 million more than the agency requested. It includes $11.6 million to establish a new Joint Cyber Center among other notable allocations:
- $240.9 million to reverse proposed programmatic reductions and to sustain prior year investments.
- $32.6 million for cyber defense education and training.
- $51.54 million for cybersecurity mission system engineering.
- $6 million for Hunt and Incident Response Teams.
- $11.6 million to establish a Joint Cyber Center for National Cyber Defense.
- $19.4 million for the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
- $10 million for vulnerability management infrastructure.
- $18 million for supply chain risk management.
- $8.1 million for cyber technical assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
- $25.1 million for Next Generation Networks Priority Services.
By comparison, the House Appropriations Committee last year approved a $63.8 billion DHS spending package that allocated about $2 billion for CISA, a $335 million nudge upwards from the prior year and about $400 million above what was requested. That bill included $24 million in additional funding for CISA’s election security initiatives.
“With the nation facing threats ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to terrorism and targeted violent extremism, our bill provides DHS with the funding it needs to protect American communities, including vital investments in disaster preparedness, secure seaports and borders, safety for air travelers, and cybersecurity,” said Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
Meanwhile, election security initiatives would receive a $500 million boost in the fiscal 2021 Financial Services and General Government spending bill rolled out by the House Appropriations subcommittee. The funding would enable states to replace direct-recording electronic voting machines--which have no paper backup of how a person votes--in favor of systems that use paper ballots in one form or another. Millions of Americans will still cast their votes on machines without a paper record in the 2020 election even though many states have already dispensed with the equipment, according to a report by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. (via The Hill)
Congress allocated $425 million to election security as part of a massive $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2020 federal spending package. The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill signed into law in March included $400 million to help states address elections-related issues imposed by the pandemic.